In the recent months we've had to rethink how we handle the majority of our normal daily tasks, from grocery shopping to fitness classes to family celebrations and everything in between – including work. At first many were wondering when we would return to the normal life we knew before the pandemic, but as the weeks have passed now the focus has shifted to what the new normal will look like.
The pandemic forced the world of work to rapidly evolve into unchartered territory for the short term, but did this shift create a new set of employee expectations for the future? The Adecco Group conducted a study of 1000 office workers in the US to better understand these rising expectations, the results uncovered five key learnings.
Although many companies in the IT and Engineering world have already started embracing the idea of a mix of office-based and remote working, the pandemic quickly forced all to accept the trend. 8 out of 10 employees (83%) now desire more flexibility in how and where they work.
Many employees want the option to work remote or from the office with 76% of workers desire a mix of both. With this mix of work environments, many are hoping for a close to even split between office hours and remote work (45% at home and 51% office.)
The pandemic afforded many the opportunity to have more autonomy over their work schedules. Before the pandemic 51% of responders stated that their working schedule was completely set by the company, but during the pandemic that number decreased to 28%.
As employees are gaining more control and flexibility over their work environments and schedules, they are now beginning to also rethink how productivity is assessed. 75% of employees believe that expectations should be based on meeting the needs of businesses rather than on hours worked. Are 9-5 work days coming to an end?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the new gold standard for leadership. Employees are now expecting managers do more to ensure the workforce remains motivated, collaborative and positive. As the working structures shifts, employees are placing importance on trust and empathy from leadership. 82% of employees want their managers to demonstrate a leadership style focused on empathy and a supportive attitude. The Adecco Group study revealed that work/life balance, job security and being trusted are the key elements to post pandemic working life:
Due to the rapid acceleration of digitization during the pandemic, the post-pandemic workforce will need not only new types of work, as but also a new type of worker. Employees will be required to be confident collaborating digitally and embracing online productivity tools.
Companies in the engineering and IT industries have seen the need for upskilling and reskilling their employees for years as the skills gap continues to grow. But the pandemic has allowed employees the opportunity to see where they can grow in their own careers. Areas employees want to focus on upskilling:
Throughout the pandemic employers have earned their employees trust and are now seen as the most trusted institution to lead the workforce into a new working world. 84% of respondents identify their employers as the most responsible for ensuring a better working world after the pandemic.
It is clear the world of work will not be able to completely return to what it was before the pandemic, but we’re working to create a better normal for all as we emerge in the post pandemic workplace. To learn more download the Adecco Group's complete study, Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work or contact us today to start a conversation on your business' new normal.